March 14th, 2012 | Published in Play Ball
Originally known as the New York Gothams, the San Francisco Giants is one of the oldest baseball teams in the history of America.
Their first season, where they finished two games behind Chicago, still drew a spectacular beginning of a long history for the team with 76 victories. That was in 1885, and nearly 40 years later, the Giants, still known as the New York Gothams at this point, won both the National League title and the World Series.
That, however, was no surprise, for seven of the eight Giants Starters bet better than .320; it also marked the second World Series for them. Many of the team’s numbers were record-breaking; all the way up to 1923, the team was the first in the 20th century to score in every inning of the game. With George Kelly who hit three consecutive home runs in a single game; Travis Jackson who recorded 100-plus runs battled in (RBI’s) in a single contest and Ross Youngs who led the league 121 runs scored, the Giants astounding statistics was no surprise and the result: another year where they participate in the World Series.
The early 1950’s brought the New York Gothams to a hault, but in 1958, the team became who we know it as today: the San Francisco Giants.
Purchased by the city’s mayor, George Christopher and led by the legendary manager, Bill Rigney, the team moved to the Bay Area for the 1958 season. And the city welcomes their team with excitement and a huge parade. But they were off to a slow start: they finished 12 games out in third place, but still managed to gain a notable 80-74 record.
The team didn’t make it to their World Series by the Bay Area until 1962, with Skipper Alvin Dark on their side, but continues to string stellar seasons until 1965. Each of their four seasons in a row resulted in 90 wins for them; but unfortunately, they fell short of two games and settles for a runner-up finish.
Although the team was only getting close, and not quite getting there, several Giants achieved their personal homeruns. Gaylord Perry was only of five San Francisco Giants in the Hall of Fame. Perry had a 16-win history, where he pitched 19 complete games. Other players like Orlanda Cepeda, Bob Gibson and Willie McCovey also had outstanding stats.
Come the 90’s and comes Barry Bonds: the team’s most notable player of the decade. Barry Bonds is the fourth member of the prestigious 300-300 and the 40-40 clubs. In other words, he completed his 300th and 301st homeruns in one year and then his 400th the next. But the team’s history was still dragging on. After eight years, the Giants finally made their postseason appearance in the National League Wild Card and although losing to Florida’s Marlins, they were a tough team to beat.
The Giants, in 2002, bounced back to their tremendous and victory-filled history and made it to the National League Championship Series. The next year, and for the first time since 1936-37, the team earned consecutive appearances in postseason play. They won’t their third National League West title and became only the second team in history to go write-to-wire with a finish of 100-61.
The next four years brought another downturn, only to bring the team to 2008, where towards the end of the season, the team posted a 28027 mark. The rookie Pablo Sandoval hit .345 in 41 games and pushed for the Giants’ strong finish.
Till this day, the Giants continue their highs and lows of baseball performance, bringing to their fans years of great accomplishments and others of coming-close victory.
For information on the team’s spring schedule and their arrival to Arizona, see the Spring Schedule here.